How Not to Get Jealous as a Creator

It’s difficult. You work and work and work and somebody ALWAYS seems to be winning more awards than you.

Their writing isn’t even that good… You think, mumbling incoherently to yourself as you stare into your mug of coffee, simultaneously scrolling through Twitter feeds. Feeds filled with people discussing how they got signed. How they’re on tour. How they’re so famous that people stop them in the streets just to ask for their signature.

That should be me out there.

I understand this mode of thinking. Hell, sometimes I’m still a little bit like this. But, what I’ve found is this.

This kind of jealous thinking? It gets you positively nowhere.

I used to pick out other faults in other writers’ writing. I’d refuse to see any good in it, any merit. It wasn’t even because I deliberately disliked the story. I was just so jealous that I refused to see any good in it. There’s a difference between being a critic and being an asshole. Some people claim they can’t tell the difference, but trust me when I say you’ll know.

A critic makes comments to help make you better. An asshole makes comments to make themselves feel better.

Instead of feeling envious of others, I worked on myself. And trust me when I say this took a long time. It also took a lot of acknowledging. I had to forgive others before I could learn to forgive myself. I had to change up my eating habits and my exercise schedule. I got more sleep, and I forced myself out of bed to write and finish deadlines even when I didn’t want to. I found good friends. I forced myself to attend parties even though I was notoriously shy.

When you’re happy, writing doesn’t come from the same dark place it used to. When you’re happy, you write because you enjoy the story, not because of spite. When you’re fulfilled in yourself, rejection doesn’t seem like the end of the world. You don’t build a thick skin from negativity. You build it from the inside-out, from having enough optimism to believe it’ll all be okay.

I stopped feeling jealous because I stopped comparing my journey to others. They weren’t dealing with what I was dealing with. I would never fully understand what they were dealing with either. To put a stop to your own jealousy, you have to recognize another’s humanity. It isn’t easy, but it’s an amazing release once you get there.

You will get through this.

It just takes time.

Leave a Comment